So, on my first day of my 1000 level Anthropology class our professor shared an anecdote with us from his time as a student at some west ( or was it east? ) coast school. I forget the name. Basically, there was this one really tough chemistry – or possibly biology, maybe also philosophy – teacher who was a total atheist and promised that by the end of his course no one would believe in God. He spent the whole semester undermining God and stuff and then on the last day of class before dead week, or possibly Christmas break, he asked if anyone still believed in God. When my professor’s friend stood up, the professor lost his shit and screamed in a totally unprofessional and borderline illegal manner “YOU FOOL! If YOUR GOD actually existed, He would stop this chalk from breaking.” Then, just as he was about to drop the chalk on the floor it did this weird little wiggle thing, and fell to the ground via the professor’s ridiculously expensive and now completely chalked suit alighting safely and in one piece on the tile, or concrete, or wood, or possibly linoleum, floor. Then, completely humiliated, my professor’s professor booked it the heck out of there and the brave student shared the Good News with his entire class of between 90-300 students.
Except he didn’t. According to snopes this story is likely almost 100 years old, possibly originating in 1920’s Pennsylvania.
These sorts of stories have CLEARLY been around for years. We used to called them parables, and they taught largely the same lessons about faith, righteousness and goodly reward. This story is most closely related to David and Goliath and presents the same moral: The little guy can beat the really big, strong, clearly superior guy if he ( the little guy ) has God on his side. And stuff.
The problem is, we now live in this instant world where we can consume, produce, and share a vast quantity of information in seconds.
You probably remember that I don’t like facebook very much. And you probably remember why because, if I’m honest, I’m one of those people. The vegan/ran a marathon/virgin until marriage/owns a bicycle instead of a car/adopts rescue dogs/macowner/adopted children sort of people: I will tell you exactly what I’m doing and why, and I won’t shut up about it. ( In fairness, I’ve only ever been a vegetarian, done the bicycle thing and owned an iPod/Phone/Pod Touch. So I’m not that terrible. ) But I feel justified this time. Facebook has become a vehicle for endlessly shared, liked and praised chain letters like the one above. The stories are always cheesy, far-fetched, poorly-sourced and guaranteed to show you what a terrible person ( READ: Christian ) you are if you don’t redistribute them to your friends. I know I should just delete from my feed and move on, but I saw a truly wonderful response today and I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to share it with you.
I’m sure you’ve seen the story about the doctor with the recently-dead kid who gets chewed out by a patient’s father. I present to you my friend Tae’s interpretation of this heartwarming/tear-jerking/circle-jerking tale:
A doctor entered the hospital in a hurry after being called in for an urgent surgery. He answered the call ASAP, changed his clothes and went directly to the surgery block.
He found the boy’s father waiting in the hall. Upon seeing him, the dad yelled: “Bro wtf my son is dying where the fuck were you?”
The doctor smiled and said: “I am sorry bro, now calm the fuck down.”
“Calm down? What if your son was in that room right now DYING – would you calm down? If your own son died, what would you do? OH WAIT HE’S ALREADY DEAD FUCKIN LOL [ SPOILER ]” said the father angrily.
The doctor smiled again and replied: “I will quote an overused Bible verse to use this story as thinly-veiled Christian propaganda by attempting to turn this whole exchange into a very poorly written parable.”
“Hurry the hell up and heal my son,” murmured the father.
The surgery took many hours, after which the doctor went out happily.
“Thank God! Your son is saved!”
And without waiting for the father’s reply the doctor carried on his way, running out of the hospital only pausing to yell over his shoulder, “If you have any questions about how to treat people in the Christian sense, don’t read the Bible; use these poorly written parables as a reference instead!”
“Why is this story so badly written? Why couldn’t he wait so I could ask about my son’s condition?” the father questioned the nurse.
The nurse answered, tears streaming down her face: “His son died yesterday in an accident, he was at the burial when we called him in for your son’s surgery. For some reason, we keep our ER doctors on call when they’re attending their family’s funerals. And now that he saved your son’s life, he left running to finish his son’s burial or play mini-golf. Probably mini-golf.”
The man was astounded by the idiocy of the people who found out about these values of life through these parables, even though the Bible has similar messages throughout most of the book. As the man thought this through while walking back to the parking lot, his son was hit by an ambulance and killed just cuz lol.
NEVER JUDGE ANYONE because you never know how their life is, what is happening, or what they are going through. Even if they murder your family, piss all over your face, and perform satanic rituals in your living room.